Luis Martinez

Updated Thursday, February 8, 2024-9:30 p.m.

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About '

The Color Purple'

, the original 1985 film, hovers a strange stigma that has to do at the same time with the surprise that came from seeing Spielberg singing his voice and making an effort to gain respect (as if that were necessary) after '

Jaws ', two Indiana Joneses and



and his bad entry at the Oscars. This first adaptation of Alice Walker's novel belongs to the select group of big losers:

it received 11 Oscar nominations and came away empty-handed.

And yet, as of today, the film has a rare rawness that is somewhat naive and exaggeratedly transparent.

It is bitter, it is harsh and it is exuberant.

Everything at once. As if the director himself, so accustomed to pleasing the audience and always meeting the viewer's expectations, suddenly felt the need and urgency to refute, to deny himself. The film came out sour, but, in truth, majestic. As evocative as it is brutal. And even true. Furthermore, that aura of curse that she has gained over time has improved her.

Let's say that the new version, to avoid misunderstandings, is not that it is worse, it is simply different (and, among us, it is also worse, honestly). Now the musician and filmmaker

Sam Blitz Bazawule

prefers to abandon that frown of indignation that the film starring Whoopi Goldberg had and gives himself over to celebration rather than drama; to feminine solidarity ahead of suffering. As is beginning to be the rule in the new ways of covering semi-classical songs (remember

'Mean Girls'

), the text of the book and the preceding film itself now alternate with the

musical numbers devised by Brendan Russell

for the stage show that came later. . That makes the whole more digestible, but, at the same time, less pompous. Let's say that the operatic turn gives the new work a strange unreality that helps both enjoyment and, why not, reflection.

If we learned something from this history by brutal force, it is that the patterns of domination and submission not only run through the white exploiter-exploited black binomial, but, within the black community,

they draw blood in the double slavery of being a woman and a black person.

And only the subtle mechanisms of solidarity, accompaniment and help (sorority) between them relieve, denounce and give meaning. It is at this point where the new

'El color púpura'

stops with joy and music,

led by a leading trio very close to perfection:

Fantasia Barrino

plays the survivor of the worst of the abuses, Celie (the role originally played by Whoopi Goldberg);

Taraji P Henson

plays star and singer Shug Avery (formerly Margaret Avery) and

Danielle Brooks

takes on the role of Sofia (for which Oprah Winfrey made her film debut).

The story of Cecile is told, raped by her father and humiliated by her husband. Of her and the liberated and happy Avery with whom the first of her will know a new life. Of the two of them and of the indomitable Sofia who knows no rule other than herself. Even though it hurts her. And so she even composes a frieze of pain and joy, of vindication and denunciation, as bearable as it is, at times, exultant,

at times, ridiculous,

and always perfectly choreographed. The film progresses like a party determined to respond to the tragedy with a few drops of healthy optimism that, far from hiding anything, offer perspective and illuminate the suffering. Taking ownership of the complaint or insult usually works. And if not, ask Nebulossa.

In short, and in its own way, the new

'The Color Purple'

exorcises the memory of that great film with which Spielberg wanted, even for a moment, to be another Spielberg. Without a doubt, an unbeatable opportunity to see

'The Color Purple'

again ,

this one and the other one, the other one and this one.


: Sam Blitz Bazawule.


: Fantasia Barrino, Danielle Brooks, Taraji P. Henson, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, Halle Bailey, HER, Ciara, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, David Alan Grier.


: 140 minutes.


united states.